In response to former councillor Susan Earnshaw’s letter regarding her resignation from Whalley, Wiswell and Barrow Cemetery burial committee, I am writing to express my utter bewilderment.
by her letter
Firstly, the stonemason’s report was received by the committee on June 28th yet it was the end of August before the committee put caution tape around 175 allegedly “dangerous” headstones. Given Mrs Earnshaw’s comments that there was an “emergency meeting” of the committee and that they had to act as a “matter of urgency”, why did it take almost two months to act despite the concerns about the about “fines” and “imprisonment” considering the supposed risk to the public?
The ICCM have stated that the public can be told about inspections via a press release. Mrs Earnshaw clearly has no problem contacting the press so this begs the question – why only publicise the stonemason’s inspection in May of this year via a notice in the cemetery rather than informing the press? Why were the committee’s inspections not publicised?
Secondly, Mrs Earnshaw has commented about an aggrieved family. She has not mentioned my aggrieved family. As a consequence of the actions of the committee during their first inspection in August, as confirmed by Dave Sleight of the burial committee, my great grandparent’s grave was damaged. It will cost a minimum of £500 to repair the damage that was caused by “laying flat” the headstone, a cost that the burial committee will have to pay. She has yet to acknowledge let alone
apologise for the damage and subsequent upset she has caused us. This hardly seems like the actions of someone “trying to give something back to their community.”
Thirdly, there is no mention in Mrs Earnshaw’s letter about the additional test the committee conducted on 30th August which resulted in 216 memorials having caution tape put round them; nor the subsequent “professional and sympathetic” inspection conducted by RVBC on September 7th that found only 23 headstones that required work. As
Mrs Earnshaw has stated, “people need to know the truth.” In light of the video footage of Mrs Earnshaw pushing headstones away from their plinths with both hands and laughing while she did so during the committee’s second inspection, I am surprised that there were only 23 that require work.
I agree with Nigel Evans MP’s comments in the Daily Mail – “appalling”.